Mayor kicks off city’s summer jobs program

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MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT shakes hands with a participant in One Summer Chicago, the annual summer jobs program that kicked off in the Back of the Yards neighborhood on Monday, July 1. Last year, over 32,000 youths from across the city were employed and earned money during the summer season. (Photo by Erick Johnson)

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) on Monday, July 1, kicked off the start of this year’s One Summer Chicago program. Nearly 32,000 of Chicago’s youth have started a summer job or internship program, with opportunities ranging from infrastructure jobs; camp counselors; urban agriculture and outdoor forestry projects; and private sector experience. Through One Summer Chicago, youth ages 14-24 gain valuable work experience and critical support services in communities all throughout the city.

“Young people in every neighborhood deserve to have a memorable and safe summer experience,” said Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. “One Summer Chicago gives our youth an opportunity to earn a paycheck while having a meaningful experience and learning life skills that they will take with them into the next chapter of their lives.”

The 2019 One Summer Chicago program will run for six weeks from July 1 through August 9. New this summer, the One Summer Chicago infrastructure team will partner with the Chicago Department of Water Management on their outreach with lead-in-water education and the distribution of water filtration systems. Working with the Department of Water Management staff, youth will be trained on how to register community members for water filters, how to operate the filters, and the importance of having a water filter. Youth will learn about the process and importance of having access to clean water, while addressing Mayor Lightfoot’s call to focus on areas with high risk of lead exposure.

Also new, One Summer Chicago has partnered with The Chicago Lighthouse in a new summer employment program called Photography for All, designed to give visually impaired youth exposure to new creative opportunities, and provide them new outlets to express their artistic ability.

“Chicago’s youth in neighborhoods deserve to have productive, meaningful summer experiences and that is what we have tried to give them in this year’s One Summer Chicago program,” said DFSS Commissioner Lisa Morrison Butler. “From coding to photography, we hope that the nearly 32,000 young people participating will have an experience this summer that will teach them life skills that will support them into their future.”

The city has formed public private partnerships to support One Summer Chicago. JPMorgan Chase invested in the Everyone Can Code project. Launched in 2016, Everyone Can Code gives youth the power to learn, write, and teach code using Swift, a powerful and easy-to-use programming language created by Apple and embraced by developers and businesses everywhere. Everyone Can Code includes a range of free teaching and learning resources that take students all the way from exploring basic coding concepts to building fully functional apps of their own design.

This summer marks the next phase of the Everyone Can Code project, focused on connecting experiences across summer and the school year to help students elevate their coding skills and gain access to internships. Through a partnership with CS4ALL (i.e., Computer Science for All),

DFSS, Chicago Public Schools (CPS), City Colleges of Chicago (CCC) and Apple, Inc. the effort will recruit 200 youth from CPS and DFSS delegate agency coding clubs with a goal of expanding their computer science skills via a six-week coding training program where they will learn from Apple programming pros how to develop computer/mobile apps, attend lectures and gain hands on experiences in the technological field and obtain the early skills necessary to compete in the 21st Century.

The Citi Foundation is continuing to support One Summer Chicago for its sixth year in a row, with funding that has totaled over $5.8 million. The Summer Jobs Connect program, spearheaded by the Citi Foundation and the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund, supports young adults seeking summer employment and provides safe and appropriate banking products, services and education. Citi Foundation is also the largest private funder of the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP), a statewide program designed to employ out of school youth.

Today’s kick-off of One Summer Chicago comes on the heels of Mayor Lightfoot’s announcement of a series of coordinated efforts to ensure Chicago’s young people remain safe, engaged and supported this summer.

Mayor Lightfoot released the YOUR CHI summer resources guide earlier in June, which contains resources on where students and their families can find summer sports programming, entertainment in the parks, health support services, and other summer learning activities. For more information, visit Chicago.gov/summer.

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